Archives: homeschooling

29 Brides

You may have not noticed, but I’ve been

a bit,

 a tad,

 a smidgen late in posting these past few weeks.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I have about 12 articles in my Draft folder.

But those posts are either half-finished, or two-thirds unfinished, or in one post, consist only of a title!

Why the delay?

My daughter is graduating from high school. And, since we are homeschoolers, that means we – along with 28 other families – are hosting the graduation ceremony and reception.

We’re expecting 800-1000 people – which translates into a lot of cake and punch – as we try to wrap up classwork, finals at college campus (she’s taking dual credit and has earned a 4.0 for her first 17 college hours – Whoop!) and we’re trying to finish a bathroom remodel before out-of-town guests arrive.  To add to all that craziness, I’m on a scoring project that requires a lot of online work time.

Let’s say, I’m a little . . . beat.

But, please don’t read that as a complaint. I’m excited about this important transition for my daughter and our family. And I’m happy for all the activity and planning that needs to go on in order to manage make this ceremony happen. (I especially enjoy all the parties and party food! Yum!)

Planning a graduation is like planning a wedding. The only difference is that instead of one bride’s family, you have about 29.

It might even challenge a Royal Wedding Planner.

Hope to catch up with everyone soon!

*Photo by Little Boubba

Why 5 Minutes Helps Your Child’s Writing Skills

Last Monday, I began a series about how we teach our children to write compositions, essays, and reports. I’ll repeat a short summary for those who don’t want to click over and read the post: We Can’t Ruin Our Child’s Writing Skills.

Nope. Not even if we are afraid of to touch a pencil and the thought of paper gives us hives.  

Please understand me. I’m not saying our our children don’t need writing instruction. They do. But, if fear is holding you back as your child’s writing teacher, then it’s time to let that fear go and embrace a more positive attitude.

So today, let’s discuss another basic principle of writing: the 5 minute rule.

When we write, and each time we write, we exercise and build our writing muscles. It doesn’t matter whether it is an essay, a report, a blog post, an email, a thank you note, or a blog comment. (Hint! Hint!) As we select our words, determine our phrasing, and evaluate our punctuation, we become better writers. The improvements may be invisible at first, but slowly we will become stronger writers.

It’s important that our children write daily.

Before you start rolling your eyes (thought I couldn’t see you?) remember that scheduling just 5 minutes is enough for beginner and reluctant writers. Eventually, you’ll want to extend the writing time, but start with five minutes.

Okay, so that’s it for me. Do you use the 5 minute rule already? How does it work for your family?

Also, check out these links to some fabulous ideas on what to write during those 5 minutes.

Raising a Writer:Amazing Kids! PenPal Program – Before Renee began planning her family’s Roadschooling adventure, she wrote an excellent post about a penpal program her daughter enjoys. It’ll give you great ideas if you have a reluctant writer.

Seven Sneaky Ways to Give Your Kids Writing Practice – Jimmie agrees that writing improves through practice. She offers seven ways to sneak into your daily schedule.

Daily Writing Prompts to Your Inbox – Sign up to have daily prompts delivered to your inbox. Most of them are like this one: “Who is your best friend, and why? Write about that person.”

Veda Boyd Jones – If you want to wow your kids with the concept of a little today, a little tomorrow, adds up to a lot then consider sharing this story. Author Veda Boyd Jones wrote a 104,000 word manuscript by writing one paragraph a day. (“A Novel in a Few Minutes at a Time”, Children’s Writer, April 2011, issue unavailable online at this time.) And yep. She only missed two days.